Most people look forward to Friday because it signals the end of the work week. I’m no different in that respect. However, since this show started, I began to look forward to Fridays because with it, comes a new episode. It’s been a really long time since Friday night television offered something that I would actually watch on the night it airs. The last time I made a point to do that was waaaaaaaay back in the 90′s when The X-Files was still on Friday nights. Cinemax, I’ve been singing your praises a lot lately, and once again, you didn’t disappoint me. This week picks up right where last week left off….with a gun being pointed at Stonebridge’s head. Just a quick recap: Lutulu was shot during a demonstration and Scott went with Lilian to take Lutulu to the hospital. Stonebridge was sent to apprehend the shooter, which he did once he got the guy away from the angry mob that was beating the crap out of him. Stonebridge sought shelter in a police station, but while he was assessing the crowd out front, someone pulled a gun on him.
This week, we pick up right there. On the other end of the gun was the station’s only officer, named Moses. After a bit of a power play between Moses and Stonebridge, they find equal footing. Stonebridge fills Moses in on who his prisoner is and explains what happened. The lynch mob outside is closing in, but for now are being kept at bay by the fence around the facility. Stonebridge tells Moses that they’re going to need backup…and fast.
At Crib 2.0, Julia can’t reach either Scott or Stonebridge on comms. Dalton tells Liam to track their whereabouts, but his frustration over their lack of equipment takes center stage. Dalton tells him to improvise and get it done.
At the hospital, Lutulu is being rushed in with the gunshot wounds he sustained. The doctors are taking him to surgery with Lilian and Scott following them into the elevator. Two other hospital workers enter, but when one of them drops a folder, Scott bends down to pick it up and notices that they’re both packing. Scott acts and takes out both men, but not before one of them gets a shot off, which hits Lutulu and kills him. The doctors duck and cover, while Scott drops both men, and after seeing Hanson down the hall, grabs Lilian and high tails it for safety.
Meanwhile, Stonebridge helps Moses lock down the building as best they can and tries to get information out of the shooter. Stonebridge tells him that all he wants is a name, but the guy isn’t giving anything up. Instead he tells Stonebridge that Lutulu was a criminalized puppet and what he did will make him a hero of Zimbabwe. Stonebridge remarks about the man’s tattoo on his arm and says he knows that the man was part of the Zimbabwean special forces. The guy looks to be on the verge of spilling the beans, when Moses interrupts and tells Stonebridge that there won’t be anyone coming for a while and that they’re on their own.
Back at the hospital, Scott dispatches two more of Hanson’s men, but Hanson himself is still in pursuit. Scott and Lilian end up in what appears to be a scary looking basement complete with dark corridors and flickering lights. It’s all very horror movie-esque. Hanson and two more of his men follow and Hanson yells out for Lilian, telling her that he was sent by Knox to rescue her. Not knowing that Knox is behind this, she stops to go to him, but Scott keeps her moving. Hanson waxes poetic about how Scott is a killer and he’s the bad guy and yadda yadda yadda, but Scott manages to keep her from going to Hanson. Scott keeps them moving, but they end up in a dead-end corridor and are trapped. Hanson and his men close in, but Scott takes out the two random guys. Hanson tries to talk Lilian out, and even goes so far as to give up his weapon, but Scott isn’t having any of it. Scott tells Hanson to go donate some body parts and he heard that they’re looking for assholes. Classic Scott. Hanson comes out unarmed, and Scott puts two in Hanson’s chest. Of course it couldn’t be that easy though, as Hanson was wearing a vest. The two men turn to hand to hand combat and proceed to beat the crap out of each other. Hanson gets some good licks in there, but in the end, after bashing Hanson’s head on a steam pipe, Scott is able to get Lilian out of the hospital to safety. Scott ends up stealing an ambulance and drives off with Lilian.
Once they are safely away, Lilian asks who he is. Scott tells her his name and who he works for and when she questions him on being American, he just tells her it’s a long story. She wants to know why British military intelligence is there, and he tells her that they’re looking for Knox because he has the nuclear triggers for WMD’s. She doesn’t want to believe it though, but he tells her that he’s telling the truth. He then tells her that when she was assaulted outside of her office, it was them that saved her. He tells her that the man who was in the middle of that fight was Sinclair and now his body is in the morgue…..and that Knox was responsible for his death.
Crib 2.o has Dalton, Julia and Liam listening to a news report of Lutulu’s assassination attempt when Stonebridge finally calls to check in. Stonebridge tells them that even though he hasn’t fully ID’d the shooter, he knows that the man is ex-Zimbabwean special forces. Dalton asks the obvious…who hired him, but Stonebridge tells her he doesn’t know and that whoever it was, set the guy up to take the fall because he had no back up. After some brainstorming on who would benefit most from Lutulu’s death, Dalton tells the team that it’s all about Knox and he’s got to be the one behind it. Speaking of Knox…he seems quite pleased with himself as he observes the goings on from him camp…..with Christy Bryant standing behind him watching the news report on the television. Ugh….I frakking HATE her! Just seeing her face makes me want to rip it off.
Back at the station, the tribes are getting restless and they start to throw rocks and molotov cocktails over the fence, while trying to get inside the perimeter. Moses tells Stonebridge that he knows these people and doesn’t want to kill them, so he offers Stonebridge an alternative weapon. We’ll call it a high powered stun-rifle. They set up for the fight when back up arrives. A police vehicle shows up with two officers who plan on taking the prisoner. Stonebridge senses something is wrong, and his instinct turns out to be accurate. When the officer can’t answer Stonebridge’s trick questions, he jumps to action. The other officer, who turns out to be Jessica, Matlock’s hench-gal, grabs Moses for cover while Stonebridge takes out her partner. Moses is able to get away, but Jessica gets a shot off that hits the prisoner. Stonebridge manages to pop Jessica in the head and chest, killing her immediately. Ohhhh Matlock is going to be pissed! The prisoner tells Stonebridge that he’s ready to talk….finally. Stonebridge takes Jessica’s ringing phone from her pocket and sees that the call is from Matlock. He answers it but doesn’t say anything. Thinking it’s Jessica, Matlock asks if he’s dead. Stonebridge responds by saying no, but she is. Desired reaction achieved….Matlock is furious.
Night falls and as Moses patches up the prisoner, Stonebridge asks who hired him. The prisoner tells Stonebridge that if he gets him out of there, he’ll take Stonebridge to the base. Stonebridge presses him again for name and the guy finally tells him that he was hired by Matlock. Speak of the devil….Matlock pulls up outside the gates, disperses the crowd, and pulls a rocket launcher out. I guess he really is pissed. Stonebridge sees it coming and tells everyone to take cover. Matlock lets it rip, and the explosion kills Moses instantly, and incapacitates Stonebridge. Matlock enters, looks over Jessica’s dead body, takes Stonebridge’s gun and trains it on him. When Stonebridge tells him to just do it, Matlock shoots the prisoner instead, and takes Stonebridge captive.
Knox and Christy Bryant watch the civil unrest on the news and she tells him that he’s achieved more with one bullet than he could have with the nuclear weapons. Knox and his pinky ring of evil get a call from Matlock, who confirms that the prisoner is dead. Knox asks about Stonebridge, and Matlock tells him that Stonebridge is at his mercy. Knox tells him that until his plan plays out, to keep Stonebridge alive. Matlock also tells him that Jessica is dead, to which Knox apologizes to him, but says he doesn’t want to lose his biggest bargaining chip. Matlock isn’t happy.
Scott takes Lilian back to the building that houses Crib 2.0, and tells her that his people want to talk to her. Scott then gets a call on the cell phone he swiped off of Hanson, and sees that it’s Matlock calling. He answers and Matlock tells him that he has Stonebridge, and wants to trade him for Lilian. Matlock gives him a time and place and tells him no funny business or Stonebridge will end up in a body bag. After Scott hangs up, Lilian asks him who it was. He tells her the truth and that Matlock has his partner and wants to trade for her. She tells him that either he takes her or she’ll go herself. Either way, she needs to face Knox. Dalton hears everything and tells him to let her do it, and it might even work in their favor. Her main concern is to get Stonebridge back in one piece. I’d say the loss of Sinclair has shifted Dalton’s focus a bit. Even though she’s all about the mission still, she seems to have more than just a passing concern for her people. It’s a nice change and shows she’s not just a cold-hearted bitch. She even tells Liam to sack up, because he’s going as back up.
Scott takes Lilian to the meet and tells her to go. Matlock pushes Stonebridge out of the car and afterwards, radios to his men to hold their position and wait for his command. As Lilian and Stonebridge walk passed each other, Lilian relays the message from Scott for him to duck. Just as she says it, the ambulance she was in explodes and all hell breaks loose. Liam tears into the building in a car with Scott, while Lilian flees to Matlock’s vehicle. They manage to retrieve Stonebridge and haul ass out of there.
Matlock takes Lilian back to Knox, who greets her with open arms. He gives her his condolences over her father and tell her that it’s his fault that he couldn’t save him. She knows his game and plays along, but is a little shocked when they give her Scott’s file. She asks where he got it and he tells her from Bryant. Knox tries to turn her against Scott, even though she defends him. She listens to what he has to say and even starts to believe him. That is until she finds her father’s journal. After reading his latest entry, detailing Knox and the weapons, she knows what Scott told her to be true.
Lilian approaches Knox after getting a call to lead the political party her father was going to lead and asks if it was his doing. He seems excited for her and tells her that she’s prepared for this. She agrees and asks him to arrange for a press conference so she can address the people. She then tells him that she will need to see her father to say goodbye. He agrees to set it up for her, but there is something sinister in his eyes.
At the crib, Julia gets Stonebridge cleaned up, while they all watch news reports about Dreyer’s death. They then see that both Stonebridge and Scott made the news and are being listed as suspects in two murders. While the team try to figure out just who else in the cabinet is in Knox’s pocket, Scott gets a text from Lilian asking to meet.
Lilian is at a church saying goodbye to her father when Scott walks in. He asks what she wanted to see him about and she tells him that he was right about Knox. She shows Scott Lutulu’s journal and tells him Scott to kill Knox for her. She tells him that she has seen his file so she knows he’s capable, and if he promises to do it, she’ll tell him where Knox and the weapons are.
Lilian holds a press conference and starts off talking about her father. Bryant and Knox was it on TV from his camp, which what’s left of 20 watch on a tablet on their way to Knox’s compound. Scott remarks that they need not worry about Lilian and that she’s strong enough. Liam asks how he can be so sure, to which Scott replies, with a fleeting glance to Dalton, that he knows a capable women when he sees one. Hmmmm….that’s interesting….and telling. Bryant tells Knox that the press is going to love Lilian and that she’ll make for a more malleable partner.
As the press conference goes on, Lilian talks about peace and how she’ll continue her father’s good work. She then drops a huge bomb and calls Knox out by name as the man who killed her father and also holds nuclear weapons. Knox is floored….and pissed. 20 arrives on site and make their way in to the compound quietly. Dalton takes a sniper position, while the other four head in.
Knox blames this fiasco on Bryant who tells him that if Lilian betrayed him publicly, then she most likely betrayed him privately as well and suggests he take “suitable precautions”. Knox tells her that they can still proceed, but Bryant tells him that it’s over. As Scott and the team make their way into camp, Knox makes his way out. Scott gets to his tent but finds it empty. The teams goes in hot and bullets fly from good and bad guys alike. Scott and Stonebridge make their way to follow one of the bombs that’s been loaded on a truck and driven away, while Liam finds himself in a tent full of weapons. Dalton gives instruction from her position, while also taking care of incoming targets. I dare say she’s enjoying this little excursion if the slight grin on her face is anything to go by. This is where Dalton is in her element.
It’s utter chaos as Scott and Stonebridge chase the truck carrying the bomb, while Liam and Julia stay behind at the compound. Liam pops a grenade and blows the artillery tent, and Julia manages to put a bullet in Matlock’s shoulder. He still manages to get away, calling Hanson to let him know that their position has been compromised. After a brief shoot out, Stonebridge manages to get on board and forces the driver to stop. They radio in to Dalton to let her know they have the package, but it’s only one and Knox is long gone.
Afterwards, Scott meets Lilian again at the church and apologizes to her for losing Knox. She tells him that she has a party to run and an election to fight. She asks what he’s going to do and he tells her that he has a promise to keep.
Hanson tells Knox that they sustained a heavy loss at their other compound and also tells him that 2o retrieved the device. Knox isn’t too concerned however and says it was worth the sacrifice. Hanson leaves the tent and lo and behold…there are the other three bombs.
Even though Knox has these three weapons and endless men and money on his side….now that Lilian made his betrayal public, I think that’s going to put a damper on his plan. I like the shift in Dalton even though it came with a price and I’m very curious what this promise it that Scott made. I don’t recall anything off the top of my head, but I think it runs deeper than anything we’ve seen so far. Scott is an onion of a character. You think you have him figured out but when you peel back a layer, there’s another more potent layer underneath. I love that. His character has become quite complex.
There’s a handful of episodes left and I know I’m going to be quite sad once this season ends. Just a heads up to my faithful readers, next week’s recap will be posted later than normal. By late I mean, probably not until the following Monday. I’m going off the grid for a few days for a much needed break, but fear not, I will be back.Tags: Charles Dance, Liam Garrigan, Lyne Renee, Michelle Lukes, Phillip Winchester, Rhashan Stone, Rohna Mitra, Shane Taylor, Stephanie Vogt, Strike Back, Strike Back Episode 18 recap, Strike Back recap, Sullivan Stapleton